The FSSAI-Industry collaborations, to strengthen science-based food safety capability in India are progressing rapidly. Given the triple challenges of food safety, food security and nutritional security faced by the country, there is an urgent need to drive improvements in efficiency and effectiveness of overall foodsystem.
As an endeavour to promote latest advances in food safety and food security, CII-HUL Initiative on Food Safety Sciences (CHIFSS) in partnership with FSSAI recently organised its 6th Stakeholder Forum on “Scientific Advances in Food Safety and Food Security”.
The context of the forum was set by Dr Alok Dhawan, Director, CSIR - Indian Institute of Toxicology Research, Lucknow. He outlined advanced scientific capabilities being built in the country to help food safety and food security for the nation. During his talk, he also highlighted the critical importance of timely adoption next generation science based, risk based, objective safety evaluation approaches, application of sensors and diagnostic techniques into regulatory frameworks, so that we can keep pace with developed world, whilst ensuring a great future for our farmers and food industry and health of our vast population, and emphasized the need to focus at the origin of food supply chain viz., agriculture production end, which will help deliver safe foods to the consumers.
Highlighting the critical importance of Next Generation Risk Assessment (NGRA) and its regulatory adoption, Dr Paul Hepburn, SEAC Programme Director, Food Safety and Environmental Assurance Centre, Unilever, UK, showcased risk assessment tools and shared compelling case studies illustrating practical application of these principles to food safety decision making.
Ms. Rita Teaotia, Chairperson , Food Safety and Standards Authority of India spoke of the scale of challenges faced by India where 1.3 billion population is vulnerable to both under nutrition and over nutrition whilst facing several food safety concerns. Among others, Ms Teaotia emphasized the need for partnerships and collaborations with all stakeholders to successfully address the complexities and challenges. She highlighted that food security and food safety and therefore a forum where both the subjects are deliberated through the lens of science was very much the need of the hour.
Dr Indrani Ghose, Strategic Advisor, CII-FACE concluded by stating that CHIFSS, in partnership with FSSAI, is becoming one of the pioneering examples of scientific capability building platform. CHIFSS will continue to focus on building advanced scientific capabilities and enabling acceleration of technical capacity building in the country with the aim of achieving food safety excellence at par with the global standards.